1949  Homestead Versus  William Larimar Jones

 

 

1949  

Homestead 

Versus  

William Larimer Jones


Above: Homestead's Captain Robert Hanna, Bess Hanna, Kasper Monahan

Below: Pictures of the race between the Homestead and the William Larimer Jones

 

Below - Picture of the Homestead, not in the race.


Introduction

In 1949 the first of three races took place as part of Pittsburgh's Welcome Week celebrations.  The first of these races was between Carnegie-Illinois Steels' Homestead and Jones and Laughlin's William Larimer Jones.  These boats raced again in 1951 and statistical information concerning these two boasts can be found on the page dedicated to the 1951 race.

In 1949 the race was broadcast live on WEDO radio.  My grandfather, Captain Robert R. Hanna was given a collection of 78 rpm recordings of the race and clips from those recordings can be heard thought out this race page by clicking on the link provided.

 

Pre Race Interviews

For an introduction to the race by Ed Patrick of WEDO radio and to learn about the engine room of the Homestead as told by Homestead's Chief Engineer, Evert Moats of Pleasant Hills, Click here. (4 min 45 sec)

Click here to listen a pre race interview with Captain Robert  Hanna of Elizabeth, Pa. (1 min 45 sc)

During these three races  Kasper Monahan, the Drama Editor for the Pittsburgh Press, and Chet Smith, who was the Sports Editor with the Pittsburgh Press, each served as the Commodore on one of the boats.  Kasper was the Commodore on the Homestead in 1949 and 1950 and Commodore on the William Larimer Jones in 1951.  Chet served as the Commodore on the William Larimer Jones in 1949, the Titan in 1950 and the Homestead in 1951. 

Click here to listen to "Commodore" Kasper Monahan  make his disparaging remarks (all in good fun) about the competition. Kasper must have been a very entertaining fellow. (1 min 45 sec)

Click here to listen an interview with C. R. Cox, President of Carnegie-Illinois Steel Corporation (40 seconds)

Click here to listen an interview with Pat Madden of McKeesport, 2nd engineer on the Homestead (41 sec)

Click here to listen the interview with Lt Commander Bob Fry of the United States Coast Guard Inspection Service. (2 min)

 

The Race is on!!

The Race stated at Brunotís Island in the Ohio River to the Smithfield Street Bridge of the Monongahela River .  

 To listen the live action from the race click here. (5 min 47 sec)

 

The Exciting Finish

The Homestead got out to an early lead, but half way through the race the Jones went ahead. During the final leg of the race the Homestead retook the lead and won by a foot. During the race the Homestead automatic stoker broke down and lost steam between the Point and the Smithfield Street Bridge.  Forty-nine year old Jess Beckner from Clairton grabbed a shovel and continue to feed the boiler by hand.

To listen to the finish of the race, click here. (3 min 15 sec)

 

Post Race interviews.

After the Homestead was declared a winner and the bets paid off Captain Robert Hanna and chief engineer Evert Moats gave their final thoughts on the race.

To listen to the post race interview with Captain Hanna, click here   (1 min 9 sec)

To listen to the post race interview with Chief Evert Moats, click here  (1 min 30 sec)

 

Newspaper Articles

To read how Jess Beckner saved the day for the Homestead, click here.

 

To read the account of the race by the Pittsburgh Sun Telegraph, click here